HALIFAX: Nova Scotia Health has been alerted to a worldwide medical isotope shortage due to a technical problem with a reactor in Europe.

Medical isotopes are used to support many nuclear medicine departments across the province. In nuclear medicine, a very small, safe amount of a medical isotope (radioactive substance) is injected into a vein, swallowed, or breathed in.

Special cameras detect the radioactivity as it is processed by various organs.

Global supplies will be limited in the coming weeks. As a result, some patients are being rebooked and priority will be given to urgent cases, including oncology patients.

NSH said they regret any concerns this situation may cause and Nova Scotia Health will be notifying affected patients.

“We hope for a timely resolution that will allow us to resume these important services for our patients,” NSH said in the release.